Cheryl Lavin: Successful marriages that had unconventional beginnings

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Today’s column proves what I’ve always thought. The amount of time and effort that goes into the proposal has no correlation with the length and happiness of the marriage . . .

ELLEN: We were waiting for our table at a very crowded restaurant along with my parents and some friends. He’d arrived about an hour before us and had a couple of beers under his belt. While we were outside enjoying the view of the water, he said, “We should get engaged before you move in.” (I was planning on moving in in two months, but we had not told anyone yet).

I was like, “Okay, that would certainly make my parents happier about me moving in at least.” I figured he would not remember the next day because he was pretty toasted. The next morning he said, “Well do you want to go? I was like, “Go where?” He says, “Ring shopping.” I was happily surprised.

We went shopping and after two days of looking, I got a ring. Then we told my mom. We waited to see how long it would take for my dad to notice. I ended up telling him because he wasn’t very observant.

The next day, my hubby-to-be sent me a dozen roses and on the card it said, “Will you marry me?” Sweet. But he jokes that he never actually said the words to me, it was the florist.

It will be 20 years this August. At the time my parents were a little freaked out since we’d only been dating for four months. But at 29 and 35 we knew what we were doing. We were married 10 months later and we’re still going strong. Although I haven’t gotten flowers in a while.

LISA: I met my husband when my “hanging out with” friend started dating his “hanging out with” friend. He looked at me and said “wanna hang out?” I said sure.

So we hung out (at the car wash, of all places) and watched the cruisers and talked. After a few months, we started talking about marriage (in general, not between the two of us) and we discovered that we had a lot of the same ideas.

One day he said, “We ought to get married.” I said “Okay, sounds like a plan.” He said, “Pick a date.” I picked a date about a year in the future.

The next evening, we met at the car wash and this time we were holding hands. The night before our wedding, he came over to my apartment and said, “I guess I’d better do this right.” Then got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. I said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Okay then. Good night. See you tomorrow.”

It’s been 18 years so I guess it worked out OK.

DELLA: I proposed to my husband. One day I just said, “I think we should get married.” he thought about it and said, “Okay.” I bought our rings because he’s not much of a jewelry guy. I wear a gold band. He doesn’t wear his ring. We’ve been married 20 years and are still as happy and committed a couple as ever.

JOANNA: I never got a formal proposal. We started talking about getting married and one day we made it official, and that was that.

Our 40th is coming up, so I guess it worked out OK, without the fancy-shmancy proposal or the expensive diamond.

Did you get a big-deal fancy proposal? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to

And check out my new ebook, “Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front.” COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM

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